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Fourth neonatal nurse practitioner endorsed.

Neonatal nursing expert Bernadette Page (pictured at right) is the country's 14th nurse practitioner (NP). Endorsed in March, she joins three other nurses already endorsed in the neonatal NP scope of practice. A very experienced practitioner, she has worked at Auckland District Health Board's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) since 1979, where she has been a staff nurse, charge nurse and, since 1995, a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP). With the advent of the Nursing Council's trade-marked NP role, the NNP title could no longer be used. So for the last two years her title has been nurse specialist--advanced neonatal practice (NS-ANP). Trained at Whangarei Base Hospital in the mid '70s, she worked in general paediatrics and paediatric cardiothoracies before moving to the NICU. "Neonatal care seems to be my niche. Right from the start I found it interesting and challenging. It is a field which is suited to real interdisciplinary care and team work, which is an aspect of the work I particularly enjoy. We can make a real difference to families and it is very rewarding watching babies grow and parents gain confidence."

She decided to apply for NP endorsement as she felt she had been working at that level in the NNP and NSANP roles. She says the Nursing Council's criteria are broader than those of the original New Zealand NNP role. Unsure of exactly what was required, she spent 18 months preparing her portfolio for submission. She felt supported by nursing and medical colleagues in the NICU.

Page has completed a graduate diploma in advanced neonatal nursing, a BSc in physiology and a postgraduate certificate in health science. She intends continuing studying towards a masters degree through Auckland University, and is keen to undertake research and to get some protected research time.

She is not employed as an NP by ADHB and says that is the next challenge--"to develop an NP role within the unit that is needed, is beneficial to patients and which demonstrates the application of the NP role in tertiary care."

She said NP roles within the NICU need not be identical. The two other NS-ANPs endorsed as NPs who work in the ADHB NICU, Karen Andersen-Hawke and Bronwyn Jones, each have particular interests and areas of expertise.

She acknowledges that developing the NP role within the NICU--"it will be the most advanced role in the unit"--combining clinical care with protected research time, teaching and professional development, will be a considerable challenge. But it is one she is ready for. The other NP endorsed in neonatal care is the country's first NP, Deborah Harris, who works as an NP for Waikato DHB.
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:Safe staffing inquiry underway.
Next Article:Hundreds expected at primary health care conference.

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